- "Sometimes the men sworn to keep us safe... Are the most dangerous of all."
- — Season 2 promotion
Season 2 of 24 debuted on October 29, 2002 on the Fox Network. The season was produced by Joel Surnow, Robert Cochran, Howard Gordon, Brian Grazer and Kiefer Sutherland. It follows the work of now-President David Palmer and agent Jack Bauer to stop terrorists from detonating a nuclear weapon in Los Angeles.
The first fifteen hours deal with finding and disposing of the nuclear bomb. After the bomb is disposed of safely, the story focuses on the United States' retaliation against the people responsible for constructing it. A recorded conversation between a terrorist involved with the bomb and high-ranking officials of three Middle Eastern countries (which are never specified) is used to implicate those countries in the plot. However, Palmer is reluctant to order military action against them until he has absolute proof that the recording is genuine. Several members of his Cabinet then vote to relieve Palmer of his position under Section 4 of the 25th Amendment, believing his hesitation to be a sign of indecision and weakness. The Vice-President then orders military strikes against the three countries to continue.
Jack, Michelle and Tony race to find the evidence that the recording is a forgery, and they eventually discover that a group of European & American businessmen fabricated it in order to wage war with the Middle East so that they could benefit from rocketing oil prices that would result. The strikes are called off and Palmer is reinstated as President after the proof is produced, thanks largely to his ex-wife Sherry Palmer (who risks her life). The seven cabinet members and Vice President James Prescott tender their resignations (Palmer does not accept them), and Palmer then tells his staff that he believes that the strictest evidence of hostile intent is required before waging war. The President does relieve his Chief of Staff, Mike Novick, who did not support David until the eleventh hour.
Like the first season, the second ends with a surprise twist. The nuclear weapon situation is resolved without massive loss of life, but President Palmer collapses after being attacked with a biological weapon, presumably in an assassination attempt. Viewers were forced to wait until the third season to see whether Palmer survived the attack. The sudden shift from a nuclear to biological threat also foreshadows the third season, which initially centers on the threat of an engineered virus being set loose on the general public.
There were several large plot threads left unresolved on screen from the second season, most notably the characters of Max and his colleague Alexander Trepkos, two men who were the driving force behind the day's events, as well as President Palmer's assassination attempt. Neither man appears in any later episodes, and the only clue to their fate given on screen is a cryptic hint spoken by Wayne Palmer in the premiere of season 3. Some of the events directly preceding season 3, including the fate of Max, were chronicled in the video game, 24: The Game, released in March 2006.
The second season opens in Seoul, South Korea at midnight local time, then moves to Los Angeles, which is 8:00am PST (11:00am EST). Beginning on a Saturday and ending the following Sunday, the season is set about 18 months after Day 1.
- For clues given in this season about the date, see the timeline page.
The overall plot of this season revolves around a Nuclear weapon that has been smuggled into the United States, and the political tensions it brings to the U.S. military. Like the first season, this season can also be essentially broken into two acts:
- The first act involves CTU attempting to find a nuclear bomb in Los Angeles that is to be detonated by members of a Middle Eastern terrorist cell. The main antagonists in this act are Syed Ali, Joseph Wald, the Coral Snake unit, Marie Warner and Nina Myers. (8:00am–11:00pm)
- Jack and the CTU rush to prevent the catalyst for a third world war as they track down and expose a forged piece of evidence planted by a conspiracy looking to capitalize off the instability the bomb would bring. The main antagonists in this act are Peter Kingsley, Alexander Trepkos, and Max. (11:00pm–8:00am)
- Kim Bauer rescues a child from her abusive father, and is on the run from both him and the police department.
- Kate Warner suspects that her sister's Middle Eastern fiancé is a terrorist.
- Michelle Dessler is introduced and begins to form a relationship with Tony Almeida and builds a friendship and alliance with Jack.
- CTU is blown up by an anti-government militia cell, manipulated into doing so to divert resources away from the bomb and to cripple their ability to stop it.
- George Mason, Director of CTU, is exposed to radiation and battles aggressive symptoms as the season progresses.
- President Palmer faces traitors in his own Cabinet, who attempt to remove him from power to advance their own agenda.
- Jack endures personal anguish as he worries about Kim and develops a heart condition after being tortured by Kingsley's agents.
Impacts on future seasons
- Michelle Dessler joining CTU and marrying Tony Almeida before Day 3.
- The death of George Mason.
- Mike Novick is fired from David Palmer's staff after his insubordination.
- Nina Myers coerces CTU into getting a pardon, allowing her to escape from imprisonment.
- Jack begins a relationship with Kate Warner.
Originally, Joel Surnow wanted to change the show's format for the second season, so that each episode would comprise twenty-four hours, rather than one hour in real time. The show, however, ended up retaining the same format as Season 1.
- Kiefer Sutherland as Jack Bauer (24 episodes)
- Sarah Wynter as Kate Warner (24 episodes)
- Elisha Cuthbert as Kim Bauer (22 episodes)
- Xander Berkeley as George Mason (15 episodes)
- Penny Johnson Jerald as Sherry Palmer (13 episodes)
- Carlos Bernard as Tony Almeida (24 episodes)
- and Dennis Haysbert as President David Palmer (24 episodes)
- Reiko Aylesworth as Michelle Dessler (24 episodes)
- Jude Ciccolella as Mike Novick (19 episodes)
- Michelle Forbes as Lynne Kresge (18 episodes)
- Laura Harris as Marie Warner (14 episodes)
- John Terry as Bob Warner (12 episodes)
- Lourdes Benedicto as Carrie Turner (10 episodes)
- Phillip Rhys as Reza Naiyeer (10 episodes)
- Harris Yulin as Roger Stanton (uncredited, 9 episodes)
- Skye McCole Bartusiak as Megan Matheson (8 episodes)
- Daniel Dae Kim as Agent Tom Baker (8 episodes)
- Billy Burke as Gary Matheson (7 episodes)
- Innis Casey as Miguel (7 episodes)
- Alan Dale as Vice President Jim Prescott (7 episodes)
- Donnie Keshawarz as Yusuf Auda (6 episodes)
- Paul Schulze as Ryan Chappelle (6 episodes)
- Sara Gilbert as Paula Schaeffer (5 episodes)
- Francesco Quinn as Syed Ali (5 episodes)
- Tamlyn Tomita as Jenny Dodge (5 episodes)
- Timothy Carhart as Eric Rayburn (4 episodes)
- Tobin Bell as Peter Kingsley (4 episodes)
- Michael Holden as Ron Wieland (4 episodes)
- Tracy Middendorf as Carla Matheson (4 episodes)
- Kevin Dillon as Lonnie McRae (3 episodes)
- Glenn Morshower as Aaron Pierce (3 episodes)
- Douglas O'Keeffe as Eddie Grant (3 episode)
- Thomas Kretschmann as Max (2 episodes)
- Rick D. Wasserman as Alex Hewitt (2 episodes)
- Mia Kirshner as Mandy (1 episode)
- Vicellous Shannon as Keith Palmer (1 episode)
- and Sarah Clarke as Nina Myers (6 episodes)
- Main article: 24 production staff § Season 2
|Picture||Title||Number||Production Code||Original Airdate|
|"8:00am-9:00am"||25||2AFF01||October 29, 2002|
|President David Palmer learns that Second Wave is planning to set off a nuclear bomb in Los Angeles sometime that day. George Mason is ordered to contact Jack Bauer, who isn't interested in returning to work, but changes his mind. Kim overhears her boss abusing his wife, so she locks herself and their little girl in the bedroom. Marie Warner is marrying a man who may have connections to the leader of the terrorist group. Her sister Kate is suspicious.|
|"9:00am-10:00am"||26||2AFF02||November 5, 2002|
|Jack establishes his cover with a small group of domestic terrorists by giving the head of Marshall Goren. He learns that their target is CTU. Kim takes Megan and runs from the house, but Gary pursues them. Palmer and Eric Rayburn disagree over a possible evacuation.|
|"10:00am-11:00am"||27||2AFF03||November 12, 2002|
|Jack warns Lynne Kresge about the impending bombing of CTU, but her efforts to alert Palmer are sabotaged by Eric, who wants to maintain Jack's cover. George locates the warehouse where the nuclear bomb was built, but falls victim to radiation poisoning. Kim takes Megan to CTU, believing that it is the safest place for both of them. Lynne finally alerts Palmer, but is too late, as CTU is bombed.|
|"11:00am-12:00pm"||28||2AFF04||November 19, 2002|
|George returns to CTU where he orders the medics to revive a badly injured Paula Schaeffer, who has vital information for the corrupted files. Palmer fires Eric for his deception. Kim takes Megan to the hospital, but the staff accuses her of abuse. Jack locates the leader of the American terrorist cell. He learns that the woman who gave them inside information on CTU is Nina Myers.|
|"12:00pm-1:00pm"||29||2AFF05||November 26, 2002|
|George Mason refuses to allow Jack to assist in Nina's interrogation. Jack resorts to blackmail to change George's mind. Palmer and Roger Stanton meet with a Middle Eastern ambassador who may be in league with Second Wave. Tony Almeida visits the Warner home and questions Reza Naiyeer about his possible connection with Syed Ali.|
|"1:00pm-2:00pm"||30||2AFF06||December 3, 2002|
|Nina Myers attempts to negotiate her release in exchange for information on the nuclear bomb threat against Los Angeles. Tony Almeida questions Reza Naiyeer about his involvement with Syed Ali, while Kate must tell Reza's parents about what is going on. In Oregon, President Palmer's day is disrupted by the unexpected return of someone from his past.|
|"2:00pm-3:00pm"||31||2AFF07||December 10, 2002|
|Jack forces Nina to help with a sting operation against her contact in the hopes that he can lead them to the bomb. Palmer and Mike Novick try to gauge Stanton's loyalty when they investigate the chopper crash. George has a final conversation with his son.|
|"3:00pm-4:00pm"||32||2AFF08||December 17, 2002|
|Kim and Miguel are arrested and the police plan to take them back to LA. Tony questions Bob Warner at CTU and learns he works for the CIA. Palmer discovers a traitor in his ranks when the journalist whom he was holding is set free. Nina kills her contact, setting herself up as the main player in the search to locate the bomb. Their plane is attacked and goes down.|
|"4:00pm-5:00pm"||33||2AFF09||January 7, 2003|
|George pits Bob against Reza in hopes of learning which one is working with Second Wave. Sherry and Lynne clash over Palmer's speech to the press. Kate is interrogated by Syed Ali, who believes she knows too much about the bomb. Jack and Nina fight off Coral Snake while waiting to be rescued from the crash site. They nearly escape when Nina takes Jack hostage and demands to speak to the President.|
|"5:00pm-6:00pm"||34||2AFF10||January 14, 2003|
|Two traitors are uncovered. One is Roger Stanton. The other is Marie Warner, who helped Syed Ali bring the bomb into the country. Jack learns of Ali's location and tries to rescue Kate. Kim and Miguel crash their police escort in order to escape from LA. Kim runs through the woods.|
|"6:00pm-7:00pm"||35||2AFF11||February 4, 2003|
|Kate helps Jack to locate and identify Syed Ali in the mosque. Palmer places Stanton under arrest, but he won't break. Palmer utilizes torture to make Stanton talk. Kim hits her low point of the day when she encounters a cougar in the woods. Ali made it look like he burned himself to death, but Jack Bauer didn't buy the trick and continues to look for him.|
|"7:00pm-8:00pm"||36||2AFF12||February 11, 2003|
|Jack threatens Syed Ali's family in order to break him. George questions Bob Warner to learn more about Marie's motivations for helping the terrorists. Kim is rescued by a mysterious hunter who offers her asylum. Lynne receives a dire warning from Sherry.|
|"8:00pm-9:00pm"||37||2AFF13||February 18, 2003|
|Jack and his men prepare for a confrontation with Stanton's renegade soldiers as they converge on the bomb. Kim becomes suspicious of her host, but is forced to stay because of her status with the police. Stanton finally breaks down and gives Palmer the location of the bomb.|
|"9:00pm-10:00pm"||38||2AFF14||February 25, 2003|
|Jack and Kate try to break Marie's resolve so they can learn the location of the bomb. Palmer confronts his ex-wife with the information that Stanton gave them. George finally steps down as director of CTU and hands the position over to Tony. Kim discovers Lonnie's deception.|
|"10:00pm-11:00pm"||39||2AFF15||March 4, 2003|
|Palmer, Mike and Lynne discuss various ways to dispose of the ticking bomb. They conclude that the desert is the best place to set it off. Jack determines that one man must pilot the plane carrying the bomb. He chooses to fly the plane himself and bids a tearful goodbye to his daughter. Mason eventually takes over for him. Tony and Michelle become suspicious of a Middle Eastern intelligence agent, Yusuf Auda, who is asking questions about the evidence against Syed Ali. Palmer departs for Los Angeles.|
|"11:00pm-12:00am"||40||2AFF16||March 25, 2003|
|Jack and Michelle Dessler question Syed Ali, who claims that the audio recordings are false. Palmer prepares to wage war against the three countries who were involved in the nuclear strike. Kim gets caught in a hostage situation. Bauer is alerted to a conspiracy after Ali's assassination and is contacted by a man who wants to exchange information for Kate Warner.|
|"12:00am-1:00am"||41||2AFF17||April 1, 2003|
|Jack meets with the surviving Coral Snake Commando who demands Kate Warner in exchange for evidence about the recordings. Tony and Carrie Turner spy on Michelle when he suspects that she is working with Jack. Mike and the Vice-President turn up the pressure on Palmer, when he expresses his doubts about the impending war.|
|"1:00am-2:00am"||42||2AFF18||April 8, 2003|
|Bauer, Warner, Auda, and Wallace fight to escape from a deadly band of commandos. Palmer decides to take a stronger stance against the civil unrest resulting from the bomb explosion. Tony's trust in Michelle is broken when he suspects her of betraying him. Kim's worries seem to be over when she learns the charges against her have been dropped.|
|"2:00am-3:00am"||43||2AFF19||April 15, 2003|
|Bauer is captured and tortured by men who want the chip. Kate and Yusuf run into a group of violent, racially motivated men who assault Yusuf and kidnap Kate before they can deliver the chip to CTU. Tony and Michelle share a tender moment after her brother flips out. Palmer learns towards holding off on the attacks, while Lynne Kresge discovers that the Vice President is planning to use the 25th amendment to remove Palmer from office.|
|"3:00am-4:00am"||44||2AFF20||April 22, 2003|
|Jack finds an ally who may help him escape from Kingsley's men. Lynne is forcibly held before she can warn Palmer of the conspiracy against him. Ryan Chappelle interferes with Tony's efforts to assist Jack. Kate offers her captors money in exchange for the chip.|
|"4:00am-5:00am"||45||2AFF21||April 29, 2003|
|The cabinet debates invoking the 25th Amendment to remove David Palmer from office. Jack Bauer finally gets a hold of the chip, but it has been damaged. When Bauer follows up on his next lead, he discovers Sherry Palmer is involved in the threat.|
|"5:00am-6:00am"||46||2AFF22||May 6, 2003|
|Jack locates the man who forged the audio evidence, but his efforts to break him down are sabotaged by Sherry Palmer. Kim returns to the Matheson home, where she encounters Gary. Palmer searches for an ally who will help him get a message out to CTU. Tony and Michelle take Chappelle out of action when he hinders their efforts to help Jack. Kim calls Jack, who helps her kill Gary.|
|"6:00am-7:00am"||47||2AFF23||May 13, 2003|
|When Jack hits a dead end with his lead, he realizes he must persuade Sherry to help him get evidence against Peter Kingsley. Things go awry at CTU when Division becomes suspicious of Chappelle's absence. Michelle goes off-site to work with Jack. Mike Novick and Prescott ask Palmer to aid them as the bombers get closer to their targets.|
|"7:00am-8:00am"||48||2AFF24||May 20, 2003|
|Jack uses Sherry to lure Kingsley out into the open, where he reveals the recording is falsified. Palmer's attorney convinces Mike to release Palmer from custody. Palmer and his cabinet gather to watch as Sherry meets with Kingsley. Mike orders Chappelle to reinstate Tony and Michelle. Jack sends Sherry in for the meeting with Kingsley, who gets killed in the end. An assassination attempt is made on Palmer's life by Mandy.|
Findings at CTU